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Old 16-06-2014, 12:13   #16
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Re: Dangers at Sea, Dangers on Land

18,000 accidental home injury deaths per year in the US. If I use a population of 300,000,000, then I come up with 5-6 deaths per 100,000, which seems to be on par with recreational boating.

Maybe it is safer to go cruising than to sit at home!
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Old 16-06-2014, 12:29   #17
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Re: Dangers at Sea, Dangers on Land

Injuries per million hours vs. fatalities per 100,000 people
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Old 16-06-2014, 13:51   #18
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Re: Dangers at Sea, Dangers on Land

100% fatalities of all persons on earth that have been born, guaranteed, no matter what you do.
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Old 16-06-2014, 16:23   #19
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Re: Dangers at Sea, Dangers on Land

letsgetsailing3:

You wrote, "sailors are a scarred up bunch." That seems a bit of an exaggeration. Jim one time was injured racing, but had years singlehanded and crewed without injury. Jim has one scar from our cruising life: he cut off the tip of his finger while chopping onions at anchor. I submit that could easily have happened in a home environment that was land based, as the anchorage was calm.

I once broke a toe on a dock cleat, arriving from San Francisco in Hawaii in 1983. No cruising related scars at all. Both of us have acquired bruises sailing, that probably wouldn't have happened on land.

I've seen fishermen with scarred hands and fingers missing, so, my suggestion is that those who have to go out for work or because of a committment to racing might be more likely to injure themselves due to sea conditions and distractions than cruising families are.

We have known parents cruising with children who were born during their voyaging. Our experience of such youngsters is that the parents (and the environment) taught them how to be quite safe on the boat, but they lacked some common skills of land based children, and their physical coping skills were based on a moving environment rather than a still one. When he reached land, the "toddler" learned to run, and then to stop. It was quite funny at first. He'd fall off the dock, turn on his back to float (as he had learned as an infant) then holler for Mom. He also learned to jump and grab the lacing around the boat and climb over it from the dock onto the boat. He got competent very fast.

One aspect of cruising is that it is usually a healthy lifestyle, and with low stress. The unintended consequence is that one may become less adept at handling stress inducing situations.

One danger of being a full time DIY cruiser is boatyard injuries, and another is being run over by power boats at night in their dinghies, and neither of those two sources are common for land based people.

Ann
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Old 17-06-2014, 00:12   #20
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Re: Dangers at sea, dangers on land

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Originally Posted by letsgetsailing3 View Post
42 injuries per million hours sailing? I used to race boats, and I got injured about once an hour. Maybe the difference is that I didn't report it as such to the insurance company. I know you're going to think I'm biased, but the study seems somewhat flawed. I guess the people who get lost at sea don't report back in. Or they get their broken arm fixed in the country they're in and don't report it to their insurance company. Or they sew their own stitches, since there's nobody else there to do it. Sailors are a scarred up bunch.

That guy who has a hook for a hand and an eye patch? Almost always a sailor.

As for collegiate sports, I do believe there are less injuries in non-contact sports than in contact ones, but what does that have to do with cruising?

I know I'm fighting the current here, but I think most of the cruising community feels it's in their interest to prove that going to sea is safer than staying on land. They seem to go to extreme lengths to "prove" this, but when I look at their actual data, it normally doesn't prove anything.

Cruising has some life-threatening risks. They are certainly less than before we had Epirbs, but there are still risks. If you love to travel by boat, you accept them, you mitigate them, and you move on. I just don't think you need to pretend it's as safe as basket-weaving.
I'm not sure where you're going with this. You've asked for some hard facts about the "dangerousness" of sailing. The insurance adjusters data is (I believe) a reliable gauge of the ranking of various activities. People fall of bicycles and skin their knees - they don't make and insurance claim, the same way sailors stub toes (or break them) against cleats and don't make claims.

So I submit that unless you have another source that shows radically different results, we'll have to let the insurance adjusters data stand as being representative (true).

ON an ancedotal level. I've sailed for years and the only injury I've ever had (requrie medical attention) was two broken ribs, when I fell from the boat while stepping off under a docking maneuver. I have a number of sailor friends who have sailed for 40 years and the only injury has been a stubbed toe.


Sailing is not inherently dangerous. If you, as a parent, feel that full-blown medical facilities must, at all times, be within a 15 minute drive of your children - then that is your decision. You should, however, be aware that there are many, many places, even in western 1st world countries, where full blown medical facilities are NOT within 15 minutes (including here in Denmark, and a whole lot of places in the US)
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Old 17-06-2014, 00:53   #21
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Re: Dangers at Sea, Dangers on Land

No boat kids dead from school shooting incidence.
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Old 17-06-2014, 01:06   #22
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Re: Dangers at Sea, Dangers on Land

Most of the Health articles you read claim that the biggest cause of death nowadays is inactivity. This sounds like the poor guy sitting in the traffic for long hours everyday and even longer hours behind his desk.

I'm also a bit sceptic about the insurance data. My premiums get loaded because I'm a commercial diver working all over the world. They tell me that the premiums get loaded because I'm adding risk to my life. That might be true, but they don't deduct the risk that I'm not exposed to like sitting in the traffic and inactivity (or playing golf
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Old 17-06-2014, 01:24   #23
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Re: Dangers at Sea, Dangers on Land

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No boat kids dead from school shooting incidence.
The odds of that are so infinitesimal as to be not worthy of mention.
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Old 17-06-2014, 01:45   #24
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Re: Dangers at Sea, Dangers on Land

Hmmm...

How about the chances of being involved in drug usage, drug violence, gang activities and so on? Pretty damn rare in the cruising fleet, sadly common in many non-cruising environments for kids.

Frankly, I can't imagine that there is a valid argument that for kids over the "infant mortality" age bar (and I surely don't clain=m to know where that is) that cruising is notably more risky than urban American life. Further, when one considers how small the fraction of cruising time is involved in long offshore passages, the argument becomes absurd.

Do I condone taking infants on long passages... well, I'm not sure on that. But for kids of a few years or more I am convinced that the cruising life is far less likely to have a bad outcome than urban American living.

Cheers,

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Old 17-06-2014, 02:13   #25
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Re: Dangers at sea, dangers on land

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Originally Posted by carstenb View Post

Sailing is not inherently dangerous. If you, as a parent, feel that full-blown medical facilities must, at all times, be within a 15 minute drive of your children - then that is your decision. You should, however, be aware that there are many, many places, even in western 1st world countries, where full blown medical facilities are NOT within 15 minutes (including here in Denmark, and a whole lot of places in the US)
What about three days?

There are risks to cruising. Mostly associated with the risk of drowning or getting an illness and not being within several days of the kinds of medical care we've become accustomed to in the first world. Maybe we need to separate out coastal cruising from crossing oceans, because I agree that a boat at anchor within a mile of the shore of a first world country is all that more dangerous than being on land. Maybe we also need to separate out small children from older kids and teens.

I don't have any statistics to back my opinion about small children, but taking an infant across the Pacific would impress me as an increased risk over keeping them on land. Something relatively minor can blossom into life threatening. I do think the risk assessment should be left to parents, however.

The Rebel Heart incident did nothing to dispel my opinion about the risks of cruising with small children. I think the biggest takeaway from the RH incident isn't the leaky boat or faulty communications, but the fact that they needed one adult full-time to look after kids that small, leaving them short-handed in terms of sailing crew.

My current thinking is that crossing oceans is pretty risky for infants, but as kids age perhaps the risks on land rise relative to risks at sea. Maybe it's a wash for kids between 5 and 15, and it's safer for teens to be cruising when they get to be around driving age (mostly due to more supervision vs the risks of driving, alcohol, sex, drugs, and general independence).

I just thought it worthy of discussion, as there is a lot of combined experience here. I also saw people tossing out statistics to "prove" that cruising is safer than being on land, and I thought those were mischaracterizing the risk a bit, at least when it comes to infants.
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Old 17-06-2014, 02:55   #26
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Re: Dangers at sea, dangers on land

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What about three days?



My current thinking is that crossing oceans is pretty risky for infants, but as kids age perhaps the risks on land rise relative to risks at sea. Maybe it's a wash for kids between 5 and 15, and it's safer for teens to be cruising when they get to be around driving age (mostly due to more supervision vs the risks of driving, alcohol, sex, drugs, and general independence).

I just thought it worthy of discussion, as there is a lot of combined experience here. I also saw people tossing out statistics to "prove" that cruising is safer than being on land, and I thought those were mischaracterizing the risk a bit, at least when it comes to infants.
I don't think that there are any decent statistics to prove or disprove any of this discussion. The risks with cruising are surely different than living on land. Some incidents like the RH incident gets blown out of all proportion. If they had been living in a suburb somewhere and a kid get run over then the story will probably never even make the local news.
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Old 17-06-2014, 03:23   #27
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Re: Dangers at sea, dangers on land

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Are you kidding me?

More people die in boating accidents every year than snow skiing.

Here are some statistics.
  • In 2012, the Coast Guard counted 4515 accidents that involved 651 deaths, 3000 injuries and approximately $38 million dollars of damage to property as a result of recreational boating accidents.
  • The fatality rate was 5.4 deaths per 100,000 registered recreational vessels. This rate represents a 12.9% decrease from last year’s fatality rate of 6.2 deaths per 100,000 registered recreational vessels.
  • ...
Source: American Boating Association:Boating Fatality Facts
According to these statistics, in 2012 there were 242 Auxiliary Sail vessels involved in reportable accidents in the USA. This resulted in 44 injuries and 12 deaths. This graph from the report is a good illustration of the relative risks involved in various boat types. As it illustrates, the real risk is exceedingly small ... far less than most common risks such as driving or even walking in an urban area. I can find no data on risks specific to young children (which seems to be the point of this discussion), but the obvious extrapolation from this aggregate data suggests a very low risk here as well.
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Old 17-06-2014, 04:22   #28
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Re: Dangers at Sea, Dangers on Land

Yesterday the temp here hit 90 for the first time. I drove past a field with young kids, 10ish, doing football practice, hitting the skids and stuff. Wonder how safe that is?
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Old 17-06-2014, 07:18   #29
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Re: Dangers at sea, dangers on land

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According to these statistics, in 2012 there were 242 Auxiliary Sail vessels involved in reportable accidents in the USA. This resulted in 44 injuries and 12 deaths. This graph from the report is a good illustration of the relative risks involved in various boat types. As it illustrates, the real risk is exceedingly small ... far less than most common risks such as driving or even walking in an urban area. I can find no data on risks specific to young children (which seems to be the point of this discussion), but the obvious extrapolation from this aggregate data suggests a very low risk here as well.
The phrase "in the USA" implies that a) they weren't crossing an ocean, and b) they were in the USA, doesn't it?

I put that statistic up only as a response to the snowskiing comment, where the person said snowskiing was less dangerous than boating, not as a representative comment about cruising, and in particular crossing oceans, which I would consider to be a different type of risk.
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Old 17-06-2014, 07:42   #30
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Re: Dangers at sea, dangers on land

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I don't think that there are any decent statistics to prove or disprove any of this discussion. The risks with cruising are surely different than living on land. Some incidents like the RH incident gets blown out of all proportion. If they had been living in a suburb somewhere and a kid get run over then the story will probably never even make the local news.
If a kid gets run over, it definitely makes the local news. Also if boaters get killed or rescued locally. Neither of these stories would likely make the national news.

RH made the news in large part because of the complexity and perceived cost of the rescue.
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